Southern Village Save the Symphony

Open Letter to Southern Village Homeowners:

I’m writing on behalf of Market Street Association (MSA).  As most of you know, we’re the organization that maintains and upgrades The Village Green and holds the many events that take place on The Green and on the stage.

The absolute highlight of our events is the annual performance by our state treasure, the North Carolina Symphony.  In fact, the Symphony has been performing annually in Southern Village for the last ten years.  We have recently received some unfortunate news from the Symphony.  As many of you know, the Symphony has been under extreme financial pressures.  The performers and administrators alike have had to take deep pay cuts.   Hitting closer to home, they’ve also had to reduce to only 3 the number of summer performances on their schedule for 2010.  Included in those 3 performances are venues that they missed last summer.  Sadly, after 10 years of performing in Southern Village, they very simply don’t have the funds to come here this summer.

When we learned of this news, we went back to them and asked them how much it would take for them to return.  Adding up what Harrington Bank and Market Street Association spend to bring the Symphony here, we realized that there is a shortfall of $8,000.

The purpose of this letter is to ask the Southern Village residents to make up this $8,000 shortfall.  We’re asking that each of you take a serious look at what it means to you, your household, your property values, and your community to hold this priceless event in Southern Village.    We’d like you to consider what a magical event the Symphony evening is, enjoyed by young and old alike.  Seeing the Symphony perform under the stars is the highlight of the year for so many people in our community.  This prestigious and noteworthy event sets Southern Village apart from any other community in Chapel Hill, and in fact, most other communities in the entire state.  It helps to enhance the reputation of Southern Village as an upscale, culturally alive community.

Looking at the numbers, there are 530 single family homes in Southern Village and 140 town homes.  If each of those households contributes $12, our goal of $8,000 would be easily met.  Obviously, not all households can or will take part in this fundraising effort, so going back to the numbers, we need only 275 or 320 families donating $25 or $30 each.  Think about what it would cost you and your family to attend a Symphony event at Memorial Hall or at their home venue in Raleigh—much more than $25 or $30 per family.  If your family can commit to a donation of $50 or $100, it would certainly help to close the $8,000 gap and ensure that the event returns this year.

Some of you may wonder why Market Street Association doesn’t just donate the additional $8,000.  The main reason is that by the time we heard the news from the Symphony, we had already made commitments to bring two major new events to Southern Village—the Orange County Artists Guild (OCAG) Arts Fair (formerly Arts in The Meadow at Meadowmont) and a performance by the renowned Paperhand Puppet troupe.  Both of these events represent significant financial outlays.  Furthermore, in addition to the funds that we donate directly to the Symphony each year, we spend an equal amount on logistical expenses to handle the event (parking, lighting, sound, security, and much more.)

One important note—this is an urgent request!  The Symphony needs to know by Monday, February 22.  We don’t need the money right now, but we do need the commitment from you, so that we’ll know now if we can close the $8,000 funding gap.  I encourage you all to look into your hearts and see what this performance really adds to your lives, to the lives of your children, and to your community.  I respectfully ask that you consider donating as much as $50 or $100 or even more.  If you feel that you want to be a major Symphony sponsor, donating $1,000, we would be delighted to have your name on our banner and in the program book.  Remember, your donation to The Symphony is tax deductible.

In closing, I want to thank you all for the enthusiastic support you’ve shown for the many events that we hold in Southern Village, and in particular, for your attendance (over 2,000 of you!) at our annual Symphony evening.  Please let us know by Noon on Monday if you’re able to help.

Sincerely,

Beverly Carr
Market Street Association
bcarr@mcarolina.com
919.969.7301 x231

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